The flu season is now underway and with some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 being so similar, it may be hard to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone.
The CDC has compiled a list of how the viruses compare to one another.
Similarities between COVID-19 and flu:
- Fever or feeling feverish/chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Fatigue (tiredness)
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle pain or body aches
- Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults
- Symptoms: COVID-19, unlike the flu, may include change in or loss of taste or smell.
- Exposure and Infection: Symptoms will typically, develop 5 days after being infected, but symptoms can appear as early as 2 days after infection or as late as 14 days after infection, and the time range can vary. Whereas a person develops flu symptoms anywhere from 1 to 4 days after infection.
- Spread: While COVID-19 and flu viruses are thought to spread in similar ways, COVID-19 is more contagious among certain populations and age groups than flu.
- Vaccine: There are multiple FDA-licensee influenza vaccines to protect against the strain scientists anticipate will circulate each year. Currently there is no vaccine to prevent COVID-19, while there are vaccine trials in the works.